The theme of the first night of the Republican convention was No Children Left Behind. Ironically, it was sort of a Gulf War reunion with Colin Powell on the stage and former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and former President George Bush. Ironic because it was that triumvirate along with Norman Swartzkopf that presided over the Gulf War, which began with bombs and continues through this day with economic sanctions that have killed an estimated half a million children.
- Activists and Activism in Philly
Protesters from all over the United States have descended on Philadelphia to demonstrate against the Republican party and Texas Governor George W Bush. Thousands marched through the city streets this weekend to chants like Hey, hey! Ho, ho! H.M.O. has got to go!" What do we want? Health care! Among the activists that are protesting are hundreds, if not thousands, who have taken part in the two major anti-globalization demonstrations that have taken place in the last year against the World Trade Organization in Seattle and the World Bank in Washington, DC.
- Holmesburg Prison
Two weeks ago Democracy Now! reported that Police Commissioner John Timoney was planning to jail protesters in the Holmesburg prison, Philadelphias largest county jail. The Holmesburg prison however is not just any prison. Holmsburg is infamous for a host of medical experiments that were conducted between the early 1950s and the mid-1970s on inmates in exchange for a few dollars. These experiments ranged from testing products like perfumes and detergents to exposure from chemical weapons and radioactive isotopes.
- Mumia Abu Jamal: Trial By Media
The case of Mumia Abu Jamal is known around the country. What a short time ago was an issue of just activist communities is increasingly being picked up and pursued by the corporate press. Time magazine, The New York Times and 20-20 are some of the main media outlets that have recently given feature length coverage to Mumias case. His innocence or guilt is hotly debated as is the fairness of his trial and the larger issue of the death penalty. And they all seem to agree that justice has been served in the case of Mumia Abu Jamal. Interestingly, the Independent Media Center here in Philadelphia from where we are broadcasting is just around the corner from where officer Faulkner was shot.